Res judicata

Definition - Noun
[Latin, judged matter]
1  : a thing, matter, or determination that is adjudged or final: as
a  : a claim, issue, or cause of action that is settled by a judgment conclusive as to the rights, questions, and facts involved in the dispute
b  : a judgment, decree, award, or other determination that is considered final and bars relitigation of the same matter <the trial court interpreted the earlier order as a dismissal with prejudice and thus res judicata as to the subsequent complaint ­Southeast Mortg. Co. v. Sinclair, 632 So. 2d 677 (1994)>
: the barring effect of such a determination
2  : a principle or doctrine that generally bars relitigation or reconsideration of matters determined in adjudication <the doctrine of res judicata precludes the presentation of issues in a post-conviction petition which have previously been decided upon direct appeal ­Stowers v. State, 657 N.E.2d 194 (1995)>: as
a  : a broad doctrine in civil litigation that requires and includes the barring of relitigation of settled matters under merger, bar, collateral estoppel, and direct estoppel
: See also former adjudication
compare bar estoppel by judgment at estoppel merger
b  : a specific doctrine that precludes relitigation of claims and issues arising from the same cause of action between the same parties and their privies after a final judgment on the merits by a competent tribunal or after some other final determination having the same effect <res judicata precludes only subsequent suits on the same cause of action; collateral estoppel may preclude relitigation of issues in later suits on any cause of action ­J. H. Friedenthal et al.>
3  : an affirmative defense based on res judicata
Pronunciation'rEz-"jü-di-'kä-t&, 'rAs-"yü-

Pronunciation Key

  • \&\ as a and u in a b ut
  • \[^&]\ as e in kitt en
  • \&r\ as ur and er in f urther
  • \a\ as a inash
  • \A\ as a in ace
  • \?\ as o in m op
  • \au\ as ou in ou t
  • \ch\ as ch in ch in
  • \e\ as e in bet
  • \E\ as ea in easy
  • \g\ as g in go
  • \i\ as i in hit
  • \I\ as i in ice
  • \j\ as j in job
  • \[ng]\ as ng in sing
  • \O\ as o in go
  • \o\ as aw in law
  • \oi\ as oy in boy
  • \th\ as th in thin
  • \[th_]\ as thin the
  • \?\ as oo in loot
  • \u\ as oo in foot
  • \y\ as y in yet
  • \zh\ as si in vision

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Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.